Ultrasonography versus radiography for detection of fluid in the canine tympanic bulla

Leigh Griffiths, Martin Sullivan, Turlough O'Neill, Stewart W.J. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


The tympanic bullae of 20 previously healthy cadaver animals were randomly filled with sterile saline or air. The heads were positioned using tape ties and a rostrocaudal open mouth radiograph taken. The resulting radiographs were assessed by a blinded ECVDI diplomate, with each tympanic bulla being recorded as being either air or fluid filled. Ultrasound examination of the bullae was performed, by a blinded assessor, using a B-mode 5 mHz sector probe (Sonotron-VingMed Sound A/S, PO Box 141, N3191, Horten, Norway) operating at 3 mHz. Each bulla was recorded as being either air or fluid filled. Results of radiography and ultrasonography were each compared to the actual status of the bulla in a chi square analysis. Sensitivity of radiography was 80%, with specificity of 65%. Ultrasonographic sensitivity was 100% and specificity 100%. Ultrasonography may in future provide a cheap, non-invasive, rapid and widely available method for diagnosing otitis media in clinical cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-213
Number of pages4
JournalVeterinary Radiology and Ultrasound
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • Otitis media
  • Radiography
  • Tympanic bulla
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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